92 POINTS, GOLD MEDAL!
2021 CRITICS CHALLENGE WINE COMPETITION
Rich oak spice tempers the ripe berry fruit beautifully here. Decant now or cellar a while - I’m in favor of now for the lively spice. A Gold Award winner at the 2021 Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition.
92-POINTS July 6, 2021
This is the Reserve offering from the same producer as N.17 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet and, of course, is produced with the same Bordelais sensibility. Its also the most expensive wine I have purchased to date but well worth it.
As a refresher, this wine is produced from an organically-farmed estate vineyard sandwiched between Atlas Peak and Oak Knoll and situated on a broad, gravelly alluvial fan that straddles one of the creek drainages coming off of Atlas Peak and Mount George. Producing less than 2 tons to the acre, this particular bottling showcases the small but intensely flavored berries of the Clone 337 Cabernet smuggled in from Bordeaux by impatient vintners in the 1980's.
The small berries of the Clone 337 are immediately evident in this virtually opaque, black hole of a Cabernet. Its remarkably aromatic however, brooding at first with dark plum, graphite, blackberry and kirschy cassis notes but then, with just a little air, its quickly lifted by beautifully integrated florals that sing out from the glass. Dark earth and clay, cedar and mocha underpin the higher-toned fruits and round out the aromas. Gorgeous. Seamless on entry, lip-smacking minerality is deftly balanced against a wave of robust, blackberry-slathered tannins in a long, pure, resounding finish. Classically-styled, this wine will age gracefully for another 20+ years in a proper cellar.
Check-in tasting 6.23.21 - Tightly wound out of the bottle with fleeting aromas…with a couple minutes of air, however, blue fruit pokes through with savory notes of cola and sarsaparilla laced with herbs of thyme and coriander, seasoned French oak and vanilla toast. Focused and extracted, rich on the palate with fine and chewy tannins throughout - needs time but gaining focus. This big boy has earned a place in your cellar. More approachable than I had anticipated with so much more to come.
100% new French oak but you wouldn't know - very tight grain.
350 cases produced
Bottled June 19th, 2020